A go-getter by nature, Perth-born Colleena is a direct descendent of Henry Passmore. Passionate about her heritage and with almost 1000 relatives in WA, Colleena felt compelled to bring together all the written knowledge of her great great grandfather Henry Passmore, a true contributor to the people of WA, into one complete story, based on fact, and embellished with remarkable characters.
Henry Passmore arrived in WA in 1865 as a warden aboard the ship called Racehorse. And that is where the story begins. And anyone who knows Colleena will not miss the irony that she herself is married to Max Presnell, veteran Sydney racing writer.
Like her great great Grandfather Henry Passmore, Colleena Presnell is a true contributor to the people of Australia.
For many years Colleena worked as a high-flying and much sought-after business communication trainer, until in her early 50’s back in 2001, she was first diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). As a double survivor of leukaemia between 2001 and 2004, which included weeks in and out of hospital, undergoing numerous bouts of debilitating chemotherapy, Colleena vowed to use her miraculous recovery as a help and guide to others.
Together with her close friend Sydney businesswoman Kerry Moran, they started the Gift of Friendship project in 2007, that today remains a great success among patients in the transplant ward at St Vincent’s and led to them both being elected in 2009 as directors of the Arrow Bone Marrow Foundation. The foundation is a charitable group that funds research into the cure for leukaemia and other diseases treatable by bone marrow and stem cell therapy. It also provides support, information and comfort for patients and their families.
Over the past few years the two dedicated women have provided bedside support to both patients and their families where Colleena’s own remarkable journey, has often proved a great source of comfort and inspiration. Perth-born Colleena has a lot of the knockabout Aussie no-nonsense about her and according to staff, often has even the seriously-ill patients in fits of laughter.
In 2014 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and in true Aussie grit style, she conquered all once again confirming her indomitable fearless spirit.
This set back further spurred Colleena on to put pen to paper to tell the story of Henry Passmore - a tale of new beginnings.
Today, mercifully, she is a picture of health, going to the races with Max, playing tennis and golf with friends and swimming regularly all around her busy hospital visitations which still give her a great morale boost.
Lash Me Fair tells the story of Henry Passmore, Colleena's great great Grandfather, who arrived in Western Australia in 1865 on the HMS Racehorse, one of the last convict boats from England.
It is a bold tale of intrigue, cruelty, bravery, savagery and new beginnings.
Henry Passmore not only survived, he flourished and his many projects were significant to the development of Western Australia.
Based on true events, this story is about the colony's birth pangs and its eventual passage to social justice and redemption.
The title of the book comes from a comment made by a convict who was being lashed incorrectly after killing a fellow boxing contender onboard the ship called Racehorse during its passage to WA. As the convict was being lashed across his midriff, he turned around to the officer inflicting the lashes asking him to "Lash Me Fair."
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